mettere zizzania

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the expression, mettere zizzania, which means to sow discord or to stir up trouble.  La zizzania is a kind of rye grass that looks like wheat but is thought to be poisonous due to the presence of a fungus.  The expression comes from the Bible: in ancient Roman times, darnel seeds would be tossed into a wheat field of one’s enemy in order to ruin the crop. See the expression used below in its context:

Ho scoperto che Melania e Roberta litigavano sempre perché Alessio, il fidanzato di Melania, metteva zizzania perché non sopportava che Melania passasse più tempo con la sua amica che con lui.

I found out that Melania and Roberta were always arguing because Alessio, Melania’s boyfriend, was stirring up trouble because he couldn’t stand Melania spending more time with her friend than with him.

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